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Olympic Glory
2004-09-08 - 6:35 a.m.

My wife is hooked on the Olympics. She loves everything about them, from the opening ceremony, to the heart-felt (and often tragic) stories of athletes overcoming great obstacles to compete for their country. From the obscure sports, down to the closing ceremonies. She will even watch the sports that she doesn't really care about that much, because they somehow become different. It's no longer just water polo or rhythmic gymnastics. They become Olympic Water Polo and Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastics. And they come with all of the pomp and importance of being a Chance For Someone To Become The Best In The World.

Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of the Olympics. I think that it must be wonderful to even win an Olympic Bronze Medal, especially in a non-team sport, because it means that in whichever sport you were competing, there were only two people in the entire world that are better than you. That has to rock. Hard.

However, I really miss losing control of my television for two full weeks. I mean, The Wife is even watching a marathon - pardon me, the Olympic Marathon - on the weekend. And even when the Olympics aren't being broadcast at the moment? No problem. She goes back to TiVo watch the last hour of Olympic Men's Individual Freestyle Relay Swimming, because she recorded it the night before while she was asleep.

I'm just thankful that my Xbox can also play DVDs.

I will admit to watching a few of the events. As a red-blooded American man, I feel it is my duty to watch the sheer athletic grace of young female swimmers, female divers, and teen-aged female gymnasts. And don't get me started on the Women's Beach Volleyball competitors. Of course I watch them.

But in the process of watching the Olympics, it also becomes obvious that some fairly odd sports have somehow been accepted as official Olympic sports. Table Tennis? Trampoline? Synchronized Swimming? I appreciate that the competitors in these events are finely honed athletes, but some of these events seem like things that families do at backyard cookouts, not like competitive sports.

So, in the spirit of The Olympic Games, I would like to submit a list of proposed Odd Olympic Sports, in the hopes that my games can be accepted as a way to bring the world together to compete for Olympic Glory!

Speed Tickling - This sport would pit competitors against one another to tickle an opposing team member to the point of losing consciousness or bladder control, whichever comes first. In an effort to level the playing field, competitors would not be allowed to use anything other than their own body parts to create the tickling effect. Shortest time to the goal wins the event

Team Drinking - Competition at its finest: competitors would imbibe copious amounts of beer until a competitor can no longer spin around three times (eyes closed, arms outstretched) without falling over. Competition starts with domestic light beers, moving on to full-bodied domestics, imported ales, and finally the darkest beer known to man, Guinness.

Men's Individual Freestyle Ironing - Six white dress shirts must be pressed to perfection in as short a time as possible. Shirts must go on hangers, and hung on a rack situated three meters from the ironing board. Steam ironing is acceptable, but starch is not allowed.

All in good fun, of course. I still appreciate all of the athletes for their dedication and enthusiasm.

But can anyone explain Curling as an Olympic Sport?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

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